Trump says ‘I hope not’ about getting into war with Iran

WASHINGTON – President Trump suggested Thursday that he wasn’t gunning for a military conflict with Iran..

“I hope not,” the president responded when asked by a reporter outside the White House if the U.S. was going to war with Iran.

That answer echoed what he told his acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan in a meeting Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

Despite saying he would “absolutely” send ground troops to the region if necessary, Trump has softened his talk on open conflict in recent days.

But he’s also bristled at reports that have said there are splinters in his foreign policy team.

“The Fake News Washington Post, and even more Fake News New York Times, are writing stories that there is infighting with respect to my strong policy in the Middle East. There is no fighting whatsoever,” Trump tweeted Wednesday afternoon.

“Different opinions are expressed and I make a decisive and final decision – it is a very simple process. All sides, views, and policies are covered. I’m sure that Iran will want to talk soon.”

On Thursday, the Times wrote that Trump was annoyed with the insinuation that National Security Advisor John Bolton was heading his foreign policy agenda, according to three White House officials.

Earlier this month, Trump blamed former Secretary of State John Kerry – a Democrat who helped ink the Iran Deal – for his administration’s bad relationship with Iran.

“You know, John Kerry speaks to them a lot. John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly he should be prosecuted on that,” Trump said, adding that Iran should give him a ring. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”

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